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Take an old three-wheeler and lop off one of those big balloon tires in the back and you've got the basic concept of the Brutus (not to be confused with the electric-powered, US-built Brutus). But there's more to this bad bike than bloated, knobby tires.

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After building Brutus, an all-electric retro-cruiser, Chris Bell decided he could improve on that initial machine. And he did, creating a stripped down, more brutal 2.0 version with lithium batteries and a stronger driveline. Now, Bell Custom Cycles is ready to build bikes for paying customers.

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Brutus two, eh? We thought the original Brutus electric cruiser was a beautiful beast and fully expected the lithium-powered follow-up to be decidedly better than the lead-acid battery beta. We didn't, however, expect this. With acceleration that will surprise you like a backstab, this new build puts the bike squarely in the sports cruiser category and transforms its look from custom classic to contemporary killer.

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The Brutus is a relic from another time. A time when men approached automobile racing with reckless abandon by cramming the largest, most powerful engine available onto a chassis supported by the world's skinniest tires. Suspension, brakes and cumbersome safety equipment were all scrapped for bullet-shaped bodywork and testicles the size of small planetary bodies. The Brutus boasts a 46-liter BMW V12 engine pulled from a post-World War II fighter plane and a chassis from a 1908 American LaFrance

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The Brutus is a beautiful beast of an electric motorcycle. Originally garage-built as a one-off to show that a gas-free bike could have the look and feel of a traditional cruiser, the result was so satisfactory that its maker, Chris Bell, decided to open a proper shop and turn them out for customers.

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